Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, motivation

Who moved my…

We are all experiencing change which always involves loss.  We have lost our routine, office and the immediacy of our colleagues.  The stages of change are as follows:-

  • Shock/surprise – we all experienced this last week
  • Denial – the questions in our head was this really happening
  • Frustration – the realisation of what the restrictions would mean
  • Despair/Depression – the reality and enormity of the situation
  • Experimentation – this will be this week, trying to work differently
  • Decisions – further ahead we may well decide to work this way forever
  • Integration – the experimentation and decisions have all come together

These stages come from the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross change curve and whilst I have listed them very straightforwardly they possibly will not flow in this way.  We will go through every stage however we might move backwards and forwards and there will be no guide as to how long we stay on the change curve.

The book “Who moved my cheese…” by Dr Spencer Johnson explains change in a more human and emotional context.  There are four characters in the book which you can all identify with.  There are two mice with small rodent brains who do not over analyse change and ride with the times and move with the change.  The two little people in the story Hem And Haw over think the change and experience fear of it and the world of uncertainty.

Hem is frozen by change and will not change his behaviour or try new thinking.  At the start of last week I felt very like Hem myself, I could not see how my business could move forward and like a lot of people felt emotional and panicked by the circumstances.

The character Haw faces his fear and moves forward, which is what I did by the mid point of the week.  My business can adapt to the circumstances and my behaviour, thinking can experience new challenges.  This is the beginning of the changes I am making:-

  • I have advised all my coaching clients that we will continue our sessions using zoom and whilst we won’t have 2 hours face to face, we can still see each other for an hour, and more often which will be more beneficial.
  • My 90 minute workshops are a great way to boost team morale and can also be delivered over zoom.
  • nuggets is also opening a business book review club that starts this Friday at 10.00am with the first book being reviewed “Who moved my cheese…”

Please do stay in touch with nuggets and let us know how we can help you adapt with the change.  bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Read “Who moved my cheese…” this week and join us on Friday to chat through which character you were and how your initiatives and thinking are going.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Mar 27, 2020 10:00 AM London 
 
Register in advance for this meeting:
 
Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Management, mindfulness, motivation

Sharing your office at home…

Running your own business and being based at home means we are ready for this phase of home working, but will it be the same?

At the moment I have a lovely office all to myself, I fear the invasion will begin with husband and children wanting to be in that space.  There will be no more lighting candles and having the radio on while I work.

My husband’s phone calls are so loud, the High Street will know the deal he is working on.  The 15 year old cannot work without food constantly being consumed.  The 17 year old is quite messy (she will hate me for saying that).  The clear desk policy will be hard to implement.

My ideas for making it work will be rota or finding new areas to work where we can all be happy with our own rituals.

Everyone in these crazy times has to be resourceful and as family we will work the desk and office space.

Top tips for working from home:-

  • Start the day by writing down what you want to achieve
  • Work out your best time for working
  • Clear the office of any distractions
  • Create the environment you want to work in – make it comfortable
  • Work in blocks – use the pommodoro technique
  • Reward yourself at the breaks with coffee…
  • Socialise with who is in the house at the same time – water cooler moments
  • Take a lunch hour – go outside (you would at the office)
  • Be disciplined about when you stop work (without a commute you might be inclined to work longer)
  • Keep work in a separate area to where you relax (no laptop on your lap while watching TV)

Please do get in touch if you would like any help or advice on home working bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, motivation, personal impact

Shaping your values…

Organisations create values at team builds or a leadership team impose them on employees.  The most effective are the ones designed by key members of an organisation, it is not an HR initiative or purely Director level.  A selection of people at all levels with the view to reaching a consensus will give you a good standpoint of your culture.

If the group work with a structure the Values can reflect the heart of your culture if you take the time to think where they are positioned.

  • Core – select a core value that is the cornerstone of your culture.  For instance “the HP way…”   or Apple’s “Think different…” A key message that gets across all you want to achieve but has a core value message within it.  This may well be the fact you support an environmental issue or education for others.
  • Aspirational – to choose something that you wish everyone to aspire to and will lead the company in a new direction.  Examples “we are innovative” or “dedicated to our clients and our service”
  • Permission to play – a value that reflects how you work with each other, the minimal behavioural standards you expect.  Integrity is possibly the most common.
  • Accidental – you can often fall upon a value in the way the culture of your company has evolved.  This can be unique to how you all work with each other and can reflect a personality of the business.  “Cool”, “Warm”, “Exciting” or “Iluminating”. It may well have been identified from client feedback.

To reflect your values ensure that they are authentic that you style them out.   A common value is “professionalism” this might mean not a frivolous culture, an organisation to be taken seriously.  Therefore professionalism means acting it out all the time, good dress code, no eating at desks and being on time.

To embed your values is not about having them on mugs in the kitchen, it is about making them come to life at recruitment, induction and regular one to one meetings.  Customer satisfaction should be measured against your values.  Whilst the mugs and visuals keep them fresh in peoples minds it should be played out on a daily basis.

Please do get in touch for a workshop to put values in place bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

Reflect your culture…?

Being a visitor too many different offices you can very easily see from the working environment what sort of culture the organisation has.

Some are very obvious, projecting their product and services with a bit of fun around the team.  The harder to identify are the big corporates, which may well have their values on display, however they don’t give much away as to what is like to work there.

Waiting for meetings in a reception area or if you are lucky a social area you can see team members come and go.  Watching the interaction of colleagues and the general vibe  as to whether they make you feel welcome says a lot about the company.

Waiting in a fun social area with a pool table and darts board with fruit and every drink imaginable you feel relaxed.  Team members come and go taking breaks and a screen flashes up photos of their people with quirky facts about them.  I got to see the face of several people I was about to meet before I met them in the flesh.

In contrast waiting in a very beige waiting area with an empty perspex magazine holder and no pictures, reflects a culture that has given up on its people.

Another example is the slick reception desk with a vast atrium and the team all in identical outfits does not show what lies beyond.

Think about your welcome area being the gateway to your business and your team.  What do you want to share?

Top Tips to reflect your culture:-

  • Welcome sign
  • Company name
  • Photos of the team (fun facts)
  • Colourful and well lit area
  • Papers/Magazines that are current or relevant to your business
  • Drinks/fruit available
  • Ensure that every member of the team who passes a visitor acknowledges them

First impressions of people happen in 7 seconds so exactly the same assessment is being about your company and your people.  Take time to get it right and work for you and your people.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on culture bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation, personal impact

Habits give you freedom…

In 1898 a psychologist named Edward Thorndike conducted an experiment with cats.  Each cat was put inside a puzzle box, which was designed so that the cat could escape either by stepping on a platform, pulling a loop, pressing a lever etc…  The other side of the door would be food.  Thorndike monitored the activity and after 20 or 30 trials the behaviour became so automatic.  The cats learned to associate the action of pressing a lever with the reward of escape and food.  Thorndike described the learning process “behaviours followed by satisfying consequences tend to be repeated and those that produce unpleasant consequences are less likely to be repeated”

A habit is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times that it becomes automatic.  Habits normally occur through trial and error.  Neurological ativity is high in the brain when you are working out what to do.  This is the feedback loop behind all human behaviour: try fail, learn and try differently.  Habits occur when you know what to do so you skip trial and error and create a mental rule.

Habits do not restrict freedom they create it. By making fundamentals within life easier you can create mental space needed for thinking and creativity.

Building a habit can be broken into fours steps:-

  1. Cue
  2. Craving
  3. Response
  4. Reward

The first step Cue, triggers the brain to identify whether there is a reward.  Cravings are the motivational force behind every habit.  It is not the motivation of cleaning your teeth it is being motivated by the feeling of a clean and fresh mouth.  The response is the action you take “the habit” you adopt. The reward is the final stage of the loop, they satisfy us and they teach us.  The satisfaction is obvious, the learning is the shortcut that the brain can hard wire to repeat the habit.

The ultimate purpose of habits is to solve problems with as little energy and effort as possible.

The four steps can be split into two phases:-

Problem Phase 

  1. Cue
  2. Craving

Solution Phase

  1. Response
  2. Reward

Whenever you want to change your behaviour, and create a good habit, you can simply ask yourself:-

  1. Cue – How can I make it obvious?
  2. Craving – How can I make it attractive?
  3. Response – How can I make it easy?
  4. Reward – How can I make it satisfying?

The reverse if you wish to break a bad habit, follow these steps:-

  1. Cue – Make it invisible
  2. Craving – Make it unattractive
  3. Response – Make it difficult
  4. Reward – Make it unsatisfying

To explore more around habits, read James Clear’s book Atomic Habits.

Please get in touch for a workshop on habits bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Focus on habits…

This year focus on your habits and rituals don’t get fixated on goals and outcomes.

James Clear author of Atomic Habits says

“You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems” 

Whilst we set a desired outcome it is our daily habits that lead us to it.

Make sure you do not let an identity from last year or even further back restrict your progress.

  • I’m terrible at strategy
  • I don’t speak up at meetings
  • I am disorganised

Take on a Growth Mindset (Carol Dweck)

  • I will think strategically
  • My voice will be heard in meetings
  • I will have a clear desk every night

Megan Hellerer career coach to high flying women in the US, talks about the approach of being Destinational or Directional.

She describes Destinational – I want to be CEO (very clear goal and outcome).  The route to this  might be copied by others who have done it before eg. a very well known path, however somewhere along that route you loose control.  You take on the habits of others and you don’t allow for deviation.  You reach the desired destination but is it what you wanted or desired.

The Directional approach allows for changes and deviations you have total control, you make your own decisions and create your systems to compliment your route to your goal.  You know that the world is not static and you move with the times.

Hellerer uses a road trip as a metaphor, Destinational follow a set road trip, they follow the guide exactly and might have a great trip, however they have not made the trip their own.

Directional co-create the trip depending on the weather and circumstances, they make their own decisions.

To summarise a quote from F.M. Alexander:-

“People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures..”

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Habits and Rituals bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Leadership, motivation, Relationships

Strong culture…

The way we do things around here… is the best definition of a culture.  The sum of values, habits and rituals coming together to form a way of being together.

Why is a strong culture so important?

There is a direct correlation between performance, retention and recruitment.  John Kotter and John Heskett collated statistics to prove the strength of culture.

  • Revenue is 4 x faster
  • Job creation 7 x higher
  • Profit performance 750% higher

The culture needs to be able to move, when there are changes to leadership, or mergers and acquisitions and there could even be sudden growth.  Any changes can lead to an old management structure creating sub cultures, which can be very unhealthy for the overall culture.

Sticking with your culture and values takes guts and it is about everyone have a conviction of a core ideology.

The story that makes this seem so simplistic is the Olympic rowing 8 who simply coined the phrase and ideology “Will it make the boat go faster”.   All behaviours were accountable to that one sentence.

Sustaining the culture 

Commit to regularly communicating at team meetings and having visuals around the office that support the core ideology.  Ensure that you hire to fit your culture, within the recruitment and selection include questions that explain how things get done around here.   Promote your culture by rewarding members who support it, this will embed the habits and rituals you want to see.

Cultural fit will make life easier.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on “Understanding culture” – bev@nuggetsoflearnign.co.uk